With Magandiya
Māgaṇḍiya Sutta

Dialogue on the occasion of Magandiya’s offer of his daughter to the Buddha.

The Buddha

Seeing even Taṇhā, Arati and Ragā,
(The three daughters of Māra),
Aroused in me no longing for sexual intercourse.
So for what reason would I want this woman,
Filled as she is with urine and excrement?
I would not want to touch her - even with my foot.

Disvāna taṇhaṃ aratiṃ ragañca nāhosi chando api methunasmiṃ
Kimevidaṃ muttakarīsapuṇṇaṃ pādāpi naṃ samphusituṃ na icche


If you do not want such a jewel,
A woman sought after by many kings,
Then what views, precepts, practices, livelihood and rebirth do you proclaim?

Etādisaṃ ce ratanaṃ na icchasi nāriṃ narindehi bahūhi patthitaṃ
Diṭṭhigataṃ sīlavataṃ nu jīvitaṃ bhavūpapattiñca vadesi kīdisaṃ

The Buddha

In regards to dogmatic religious teachings,
Of none of them have I said “I proclaim this”.
But rather, in scrutinising views, without grasping,
While searching, I realised inner peace.

Idaṃ vadāmīti na tassa hoti dhammesu niccheyya samuggahītaṃ
Passañca diṭṭhīsu anuggahāya ajjhattasantiṃ pacinaṃ adassaṃ


Of opinions that have been concocted,
You indeed speak without grasping.

This inner peace, whatever it is,
How is it explained by the wise?

Vinicchayā yāni pakappitāni te ve munī brūsi anuggahāya
Ajjhattasantīti yametamatthaṃ kathaṃ nu dhīrehi paveditaṃ taṃ

The Buddha

They do not say that purity is intrinsic to views
Learning, knowledge, or precepts and practices;
Nor intrinsic to a lack of views,
Learning, knowledge, precepts and practices.
But by detaching from these,
Not grasping them,
At peace, untethered,
One no longer hungers for existence.(1)

Na diṭṭhiyā na sutiyā na ñāṇena sīlabbatenāpi na suddhimāha
Adiṭṭhiyā assutiyā añāṇā asīlatā abbatā nopi tena
Ete ca nissajja anuggahāya santo anissāya bhavaṃ na jape


If they do not say that purity is intrinsic to views,
Learning, knowledge, precepts and practices;
Nor intrinsic to a lack of views,
Learning, knowledge, precepts and practices,
It seems to me that this religious teaching is indeed foolish.
For some attain purity by means of views.(2)

No ce kira diṭṭhiyā na sutiyā na ñāṇena sīlabbatenāpi na suddhimāha
Adiṭṭhiyā assutiyā añāṇā asīlatā abbatā nopi tena
Maññāmahaṃ momuhameva dhammaṃ diṭṭhiyā eke paccenti suddhiṃ

The Buddha

Tethered to a fixed view,
Bewildered by what you are attached to,
You cannot apprehend the simplest notion.
Therefore you think that this religious teaching is foolish.(3)

Diṭṭhañca nissāya anupucchamāno samuggahītesu pamohamāgā
Ito ca nāddakkhi aṇumpi saññaṃ tasmā tuvaṃ momuhato dahāsi


Whoever supposes himself to be equal, superior or inferior
Would contend with others because of it.
But for one who is untroubled by these three modes of thought
There is nobody equal, superior or inferior.

Samo visesī uda vā nihīno yo maññatī so vivadetha tena
Tīsu vidhāsu avikampamāno samo visesīti na tassa hoti


Of what view would a Brahman say
“It is Truth” or “It is Falsehood”?
With whom would he contend?
The Brahman who neither supposes he is ‘equal’ nor ‘unequal’,
With whom would he join in dispute?

Saccanti so brāhmaṇo kiṃ vadeyya musāti vā so vivadetha kena
Yasmiṃ samaṃ visamaṃ vāpi natthi sa kena vādaṃ paṭisaṃyujeyya


Having detached from the household life,
Wandering homeless,
The sage does not create intimate relationships in the village.
Rid of sensual passion,
Free of yearning,
He does not speak to people contentiously.

Okaṃ pahāya aniketasārī gāme akubbaṃ muni santhavāni
Kāmehi ritto apurekkharāno kathaṃ na viggayha janena kayirā


Those things that a great being should live aloof from,
He should neither acquire them nor talk about them.

As the prickly lotus is unsullied by water and mud,
So the sage,
Professing peace, and free of greed,
Is not stained by sensual pleasure and things of the world.

Yehi vivitto vicareyya loke na tāni uggayha vadeyya nāgo
Jalambujaṃ kaṇḍakaṃ vārijaṃ yathā jalena paṅkena canūpalittaṃ
Evaṃ munī santivādo agiddho kāme ca loke ca anūpalitto


One who has realised Truth
Feels no pride regarding his views or thoughts
Because he does not regard them as part of himself;
Such a person is not to be inferred
By his precepts or practices,
Nor by his religious knowledge.
He is a person not drawn into clinging.

Na vedagū diṭṭhiyāyako na mutiyā sa mānameti na hi tammayo so
Na kammunā nopi sutena neyyo anūpanīto sa nivesanesu


For one unattached to the notion ‘I am’
There are no bonds.
For one liberated through wisdom
There are no illusions.
Those attached to the notion “I am” and to views
Roam the world offending people.

Saññāvirattassa na santi ganthā paññāvimuttassa na santi mohā
Saññañca diṭṭhiñca ye aggahesuṃ te ghaṭṭayantā vicaranti loke ti

Notes for Readers:

  • Note (1) A similar description of practice is found in the Udāna, which says that one extreme is to think that religious training is the essence - or precepts and practices, or celibacy or service is the essence (sikkhāsārā sīlabbatajīvitabrahmacariyaupaṭṭhānasārā ayameko anto). The other extreme is to think that there is no flaw in sensuality (natthi kāmesu doso'ti ayaṃ dutiyo anto). Both these extremes 'cause the cemeteries to grow'. For those who fully understand (abhiññāya) the two extremes, and abandon them, they escape from samsara (Ud.71-2).
  • Note (2) The Buddha defines the goal as being untethered to the path. This confuses Magandiya to the extent that, whereas the Buddha gave him the definition of purity, his complaint concerns the attainment of purity. And whereas the Buddha describes the abstract quality of purity; Magandiya asks about purity as a personal attainment. See Appendix 2: Goal and path: what is the relationship?
  • Note (3) Thus ends the conversation with Magandiya.

Notes on Translation:

  • Verse 839) For a commentary to this translation, see Appendix 7: Instrumental and ablative cases as ‘intrinsic’.
  • Verse 843) of what view: here kiṃ seems to mean “what view?”. Also in v.832 “This is very Truth” refers to views.
  • Verse 843) Truth and Falsehood: so-called experts call their religious teachings ‘Truth’ (vv.824; 910). But Truth involves detaching from everything (v.946). It is therefore absurd to call a view ‘Truth’. ‘Falsehood’ is a term devised by sophists to label other people’s ‘Truths’ (v.886).
  • Verse 843) yasmiṃ samaṃ visamaṃ vāpi natthi: Norman says “In whom there is no [idea of being] equal or unequal either”. A similar expression in verse 799 includes the word maññetha: one must not ‘suppose’ one is either inferior or superior. Therefore I phrase it: The Brahman who neither supposes he is ‘equal’ nor ‘unequal’.
  • Verse 846) tammayo: this word also occurs at M.1.319 and A.3.444; and tammayatā occurs at M.3.42 and M.3.220. Seeing that everything in the world is not part of oneself (sabbaloke ca atammayo bhavissāmi) is one of the advantages of developing the conception of not-Self (anattasaññaṃ). Two related advantages are:
    • The idea of "me" will be stopped (ahaṅkārā ca me uparujjhissanti).
    • The idea of "mine" will be stopped (mamaṅkārā ca me uparujjhissanti) (A.3.444).
  • Verse 846) not to be inferred by his precepts or practices (na kammunā ... neyyo): I take kammunā as equivalent to sīlavatena of v.803 (na brāhmaṇo sīlavatena neyyo).

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